Mighty No. 9
|Mighty No. 9|
Abstraction Games (3DS and Vita versions)
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Release date(s)||April 2015 (estimated delivery)|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, co-operative multiplayer, online multiplayer|
|Distribution||Digital distribution (Steam, PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Live Arcade)|
Mighty No. 9 (マイティーナンバーナイン Maitī Nanbā Nain?) is an upcoming action-platform video game in development by Comcept in conjunction with Inti Creates, and produced by Keiji Inafune. The creation of the game was based on the online crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, and incorporates heavy input from the public. Mighty No. 9 very closely resembles another Inafune creation, Mega Man, in both gameplay and character design, and is considered by many as its spiritual successor. It will also be the fourth released game by development studio Comcept.
The minimum Kickstarter goal for Mighty No. 9 was successfully funded on September 2, 2013, after only two days of the creation of the page. However, several other features including additional stages, special modes and ports to other platforms were confirmed after additional "stretch goals" related to it were achieved, increasing the total funds obtained to over 400% of the original goal.
Gameplay in Mighty No. 9 is focused on 2D platforming with a blend of 2D and 3D artwork and animation. The player is able to run, jump and shoot projectiles at enemies they encounter. Furthermore, the player will be able to acquire both weapons and abilities from enemies they defeat. The game will feature an intro level followed by the eight main stages, which are freely chosen in any order by the player. At the end of each stage, Beck must face one of the other eight "Mighty Number" units in a boss battle. A final set of stages are unlocked at the end of the game, leading up to the final showdown. An additional level starring Call is also available at some point, provided through one of the completed stretch goals.
Beck's body has the ability to transform into different shapes, according to the specific Mighty Number robot that he defeats. The enemy will reveal certain weak spots that the player can shoot in order to obtain "Xel" (pronounced "Cel") and take on a new form. These forms, called "Mighty Skills", will grant the player new abilities and ways to tackle the levels. For example, a certain ability can allow Beck to adorn magnetic limbs in order to climb walk up structures or disable enemy shields, while another could allow Beck to shift into the form of a tank in order to easily traverse spiked areas and move certain objects. These transformations do not come exclusively from bosses, as Beck can transform after defeating enemy grunts, as well.
Mighty No. 9 stars an android named Beck, the ninth unit in a set of combat robots called the Mighty Number. At some point a form of computer virus attacks the rest of his fellow units, as well as machines around the world. The player, as Beck, must fight the rogue robots and discover the final villain who threatens the fate of the planet. Alongside Beck is his partner, Call. Comcept previously held a fan opinion poll in order to determine the most popular mockup design for Call. As a result, concept design "F" was selected as the base design for the character. According to the Kickstarter's FAQ, the name Beck was chosen as "his creator wanted him to have a human name, unlike his peers", and also because it fit his partner's name as well (as in "Beck and Call").
There are three scientists involved in the story, each with a specific part to play: Dr. White, the robotics designer who created Beck and the rest of the Mighty Number; Dr. Blackwell, the inventor of "Xel" technology that provides the basis for the Mighty Number and all robots in the game; and Dr. Sanda, who also works in "Xel" technology and has created Call but plays an otherwise unknown role at this point. Designers from Inti Creates as well as Comcept are both working on the designs of the characters in the game and have noted that "each [character is] intended to have his own unique look" within the art design.
Mighty No. 9 was announced in a conference at the 2013 Penny Arcade Expo by Inafune and his team. The Kickstarter campaign for the project launched on August 31, 2013 and met its $900,000 USD target only two days later, on September 2.
8-4, a localization company, is working on Japanese-to-English translation work for the project in addition to consulting and PR work. 2 Player Productions is producing a four-part documentary series as the game develops, detailing every aspect that has gone into the creation of the game as well as providing developer commentary from Inafune and his team.
Inafune has promised to provide "unprecedented access to seeing [his] team at work" over the development cycle of the Mighty No. 9. In the video promoting the Kickstarter, Inafune stated that he wanted to make the project one where he could get the fans involved, following the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 which similarly sought to get fans involved with the game's development process.
On September 4, 2013, it was announced that the two mystery stretch goals that were previously announced were to be pushed back in favor of attempting to release the game on consoles quickly. The mystery goals were still retained, and later revealed once funding reached the $2,200,000 goal and beyond. As each particular stretch goal was attained during the month of September, additional stretch goals were announced, pushing the final goal to the $4,000,000 mark. The first of the documentary series by 2 Player Productions was released on September 26.
An opinion poll was launched on September 27 to choose the design of Call, Beck's partner. The poll asks voters to choose among nine design choices labelled from A to I, all drawn by members of both Inti Creates and Comcept. The poll was closed and the result was posted on the evening of October 1, with designs E, F and H winning out.
Renowned ex-Capcom composer, Takashi Tateishi (who has previously done work for Mega Man 2), was revealed to have signed on to the Mighty No. 9 project on September 30. He is joined by fellow composers such as Inti Creates' Ippo Yamada and the previously announced Manami Matsumae to produce the music and sound for the game. The same day, the game's use of the Unreal Engine was confirmed.
The pledging campaign ended on October 1, 2013, raising $3,845,170 in total and becoming the then sixth most funded project in Kickstarter history (as of July 2014, it is eighth). An additional $201,409 obtained via PayPal increased the total money collected to $4,046,579, contributing to the achievement of all the stretch goals announced.
In an interview published in an issue of Game Informer, Inafune revealed he would not rule out Capcom, his former employer, as a potential publisher for the game, even if it meant re-skinning Mighty No. 9 as an actual Mega Man game. However, he added that he would only negotiate with Capcom if "they had the best terms". An official website for the game was launched on November 21, 2013, alongside a backer exclusive forum. On March 19, 2014, a development trailer was shown at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.
On 6 July 2014, there was another crowd funding campaign for bonus content. The first stretch goal is to raise $100,000 for full English voice acting in the game.
|Kickstarter Goals||Funds Required
(in U.S. dollars)
|Status (in 2013)|
|Project for Microsoft Windows Greenlighted||$900,000||Achieved on September 2|
|Two additional stages||$1,200,000||Achieved on September 3|
|Ports for Mac OS and Linux||$1,350,000||Achieved on September 3|
|New Game Plus and Turbo Modes||$1,500,000||Achieved on September 4|
|Production of a "Making of" Video Documentary||$1,750,000||Achieved on September 6|
|Bonus Boss Rush Mode||$2,000,000||Achieved on September 11|
|Ports for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U||$2,200,000||Achieved on September 16|
|Challenge Mode||$2,400,000||Achieved on September 22|
|Extra End Stage and Boss||$2,550,000||Achieved on September 25|
|Beck and Call Co-Op Challenge Mode||$2,750,000||Achieved on September 26|
|Intro Stage and Boss||$2,900,000||Achieved on September 28|
|Support Character||$3,100,000||Achieved on September 29|
|Ports for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One||$3,300,000||Achieved on September 30|
|Ports for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita||$3,500,000||Achieved on October 1|
|Single-Player Call Stage and Boss||$3,700,000||Achieved on October 1|
|Optional Retro-Style Soundtrack and Special Effects||$3,800,000||Achieved on October 1|
|Online Battle Race Mode||$4,000,000||Achieved on October 1|
Digital copies of the game are guaranteed to those who pledged $20 on kickstarter at release. An additional game manual, artbook/strategy guide, and the original soundtrack are guaranteed to those who pledged $40 at release. Physical copies of the aforementioned rewards packaged inside a box adorned with art of the backer's choosing, alongside a playable golden version of Beck will be available to those who pledged $60. Further donations will give access to special items like extra bonus content or exclusive merchandise along access to beta versions and other collaborations with the game's development. Backers who donate at least $10,000 USD will earn the right to attend a dinner with main creator Keiji Inafune himself.
The game originally was in development exclusively for Microsoft Windows, but ports for OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita were confirmed after the funding reached previously established stretch goals related to it. In regards to the Nintendo 3DS release, the co-founder/director of Renegade Kid, Jools Watsham, has publicly offered to assist in development. However, Comcept had since confirmed that it officially arranged to work with Abstraction Games on both portable versions of Mighty No. 9.
An additional copy of Mighty No. 9 will be available to purchase as physical distribution, along with a backer's digital version. The physical copy is manifested in one of two forms of the backer's choice. The first is a DVD-ROM adorned with the game's illustration, available after the addition of $26 to the minimum pledge. The second is a USB flash drive also adorning the game's illustration, but molded in the appearance of either a Nintendo Entertainment System or a Famicom Disk System cartridge (based on the backer's choice in a survey), available after the addition of $36 to the minimum pledge.
In a February 2014 interview with Polygon, Inafune expressed his interest in developing a larger meta-franchise for Mighty No. 9 beyond the release of the game, including a possible live action movie. Other adaptions included a "comic book, manga, anime, movie, TV drama series" among others. In discussion with Polygon, he stated that "it's not actually a 100 percent set deal yet," and that "it is something we are looking forward to and considering the possibilities of". In regards to a production company for the movie, he mentioned collaboration with Contradiction Studios as a possibility. Tim Carter, a Contradictions film writer and producer, revealed that his company was working on the film adaptation and that he had been in talks with Inafune.
At the Anime Expo 2014, an animated series based on the game was announced by Keiji Inafune, with animations created by Tokyo-based Digital Frontier. The series is scheduled for release in Q2 2016.
Mighty No. 9 has been widely acclaimed for its return to the genre of Mega Man-styled games, going against the alleged negligence of IP-holder Capcom to that franchise. The game has been noted as one of the first crowd-funded video game projects launched in Japan, and has been praised for its candor of production to the public.
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